Iran says enrichment suspension will not last long

30th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2004 , TEHERAN - Iran said on Tuesday it could revise its decision to suspend uranium enrichment - brokered by Germany, France and Britain - if it felt talks with the European Union on improved trade and political cooperation were at an impasse. The Europeans had offered to expand political, economic and trade cooperation with Teheran in return for a halt to its uranium enrichment programme. The suspension would continue only as long as talks with the EU's so-called big three - Britain, France

30 November 2004

TEHERAN - Iran said on Tuesday it could revise its decision to suspend uranium enrichment - brokered by Germany, France and Britain - if it felt talks with the European Union on improved trade and political cooperation were at an impasse.

The Europeans had offered to expand political, economic and trade cooperation with Teheran in return for a halt to its uranium enrichment programme.

The suspension would continue only as long as talks with the EU's so-called big three - Britain, France and Germany - were in progress, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, told a news conference in Teheran.

"We are willing to cooperate, but whenever we feel the other side is killing time or the negotiations reach a deadlock, then we will revise our decision," Rowhani said.

"We are talking about months, not years," Rowhani said with regards to the duration of the suspension.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution on Monday to monitor Iran's nuclear programme after the head of the agency, Mohamed Elbaradei, confirmed the suspension of uranium enrichment.

The move was seen as going some way to appease the United States, which suspects Teheran is pursuing nuclear weapons under the guise of an atomic energy programme and wanted to refer the issue to the UN Security Council.

Highly enriched uranium is a key ingredient in developing a nuclear weapon. Iran strongly denies its developing nuclear weapons.

The promises by the Europeans on expanded political, economic and trade cooperation must be fulfilled in order to continue long-term cooperation with the EU," said Rowhani, who is also secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

Iran wants support from the EU trio to join the World Trade Organization and the finalization of an Iran-EU trade pact, which has been stalled because of the nuclear dispute and differences over political and human rights issues.

The resolution passed at the IAEA was not fully compatible to our expectations ... but we still consider it as the best resolution so far made and a turning point in the nuclear dispute," Rowhani said.

President Mohammad Khatami on Monday termed the IAEA resolution a defeat "for those who wanted to take our case to the United Nations Security Council" - a reference to Washington.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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